Many successful entrepreneurs started their business on a hunch, finding a gap in the market, their renowned impatience sees them setting up businesses in minutes, offering a product or service moments from the initial conception of the idea.
Although Sir Alan Sugar now favours business plans when choosing an Apprentice, when starting out on a market stall, all he needed was a little cash in his pocket and a penchant for early mornings.
Richard Branson began with a love for music and an available shop where he could sell records, whereas a controversial entrepreneur, Katie Price merely began in front of the camera before expanding into fashion, books and presenting.
It seems that it’s even easier to test the waters now with online businesses popping up every day. If you think you have a good idea for a business you can simply set up a service in seconds. Buying a domain name and filling the site with good copy is a start, and then with a sprinkling of web design and SEO from an affordable company and some good marketing from a freelance marketer you can compete with big brands. Unlike twenty years ago you no longer have to rely on the size of your shop front as every business no matter how large or small has the same sized front page (within reason) which allows the corner shop to compete with Tesco as long as they know how to build traffic.
Everyone’s an Entrepreneur
The internet has made most people think they can cut it as an entrepreneur, whether they sell their services on freelancer sites or flog their finds on eBay, the majority know how to make money online. Because of this it’s no surprise that these small ventures start without a business plan, as although some fail; many also thrive taking the business owner by surprise. As most of the population own a PC too no longer does an entrepreneur have to give up steady work as they test the waters of their new career, instead they can enjoy a regular income from full time employment, pursuing their dream from the comfort of home after dark.
Why Do I Need a Business Plan?
This may make you wonder why you ever need a business plan at all, but there are many benefits to making sure you have everything on paper. Without a business plan you’ll be hard pushed to find investment from the outset, and hard pushed to expand with investment once you’re up and running. Not only is a business plan a great tool for highlighting your projections it also makes for an essential document to look back on, as you can gauge your success measuring your profit and loss which motivates you to succeed.
If in the first few years of trading you seek outside investment, loan companies and banks will want to measure your current status against your original forecasts from your business plan. It shows them that you’re serious about handling money and reassures them that their cash is safe in your hands.
However, there’s nothing stopping you starting now with a website, some SEO, good persuasive copy and a few clever marketing techniques, you can always go back later and write the business plan when you need it!